I have to wade in on this one.
It is true that hams seem not to appreciate the value of
a manufacturer's time and experience. As a group, we're not
a particularly robust market, either. i.e. we seem to be cheap.
On the other hand, there is IP and there is IP.
With due respect to Mike, of Mike's Automotive, the quad antenna
wasn't invented by Lightning Bolt. And having owned one, the
amount of IP is...minimal. Mike's contribution, I think, was in
the procurement of spreaders and the fixturing. As others have
noted, his wire clamps were quite good. And he WAS a nice guy to
I bought a 2 el, and an upgrade to 4 el. Then I realized how bloody
BIG the thing was, and had to knock down half the VT forest to make
swing room. Ultimately, the trees won, and I donated the bugger to
the Red Cross, in new condition. Put up a SteppIR instead.
BUT, the key point is....we may love our small companies....they generally
DO take better care of customers than their bigger competitors. But we
aren't a big enough market to feed them well, or fund their retirement,
in any real way.
Structurally, THAT is why amateur radio is in danger of losing its source
of radios. If you had to invest your retirement nestegg in it...would YOU
finance development of another YaeKenCom? Only reason THEY do is that the
amateur population has been more pervasive in JA's technical community.
I think we're near a tipping point.
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